The winner on points was Brian Thomas, followed by Ilyan Kovatchev, Stuart Bowman, Mary Olivari, John Tierney and Sakura Adams.
Brian previously won the competition in 1987.... "if I have to wait another 34 years before claiming it again I will be 100!"
The Dani Lobo award for the "most competitive swimmer" went to Will Luckhurst.
Series winner, Brian Thomas
Saturday 18 December saw the end of the Winter Competition, with members of the Kelly family on hand to present the Bernard Fettes cup to long term member Brian Thomas.
The cup has been presented at the end of the Winter Competition since 1958, in memory of Bernard Fettes. The Winter series of the Serpentine Swimming Club span many generations and harks back to the early years of the club in the 19th century. Since the mid-1970s the series has been sponsored by the Kelly family. American artist Francis Bob Kelly was club President 1983 to 1986. Present this morning were Bob's sons Duff and Jesse and grandson Cameron. Sean, Bob's oldest son and Cameron's dad, was on his travels in the USA (Texas, then Ohio) so missed the chill of an early winter Serpentine morning.
Bernard Fettes swam with the club for many years up to the late 1950s. Alan Lacy recalled that Bernard was a dentist who would arrive at the Serpentine in his pride and joy: his Jaguar motor car. Some recent research by Mike Harris showed Bernard Fettes to have served in the Army's Machine Gun Corps during WW1.
Also in the prizes were Ilyan Kovatchev, Stuart Bowman, Mary Olivari, John Tierney and Sakura Adams
Though 6th in the series, Sakura won the get out, get dry, get warm postscript to her heat on Saturday
The Dani Lobo award for the most competitive swimmer of 2021 went to Will Luckhurst
1987 cup presentation
1967, last Saturday of the Winter Competition. It was another twenty years before Brian had his hands on the cup.
1930, Louis Fabre (who still swam with us until the early 1970s) receiving the Winter Competition 1st prize from Gilbert Varley
Hyde Park welcomed Hawaii, 1972
A tribute to Bob and the Kellys
Bob Kelly joined the club in 1970 - living in Bayswater he saw Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park as "his own back yard". Bob was club president from 1983 to 1986. Bob led the "save our Serps" campaign in the early 80s when the future of the Lido and of the club was seriously threatened by government budget cutbacks. He was also instrumental in ensuring women were allowed to join the club as "full members", "associate member" status having been introduced in 1973.
For further background on the history of the Winter Competition and the Kelly family's involvement click here to see the "race we missed" report from 2020 .....
And finally, apologies for referring to myself in the third person throughout this report. I am not trying to ape Donald Trump, I just wasn't inventive enough to get round the necessity.